I am amazed at the beautiful things that you can create out of paper and card using a varied mixture of hand-on skills.
The art of papermaking dates back to around 105 AD when in China the first sheets of paper were given to the Emperor, from these early beginnings it quickly grew into a rapidly expanding industry, by the nineteenth century it had become an everyday item.

Paper craft is generally associated with Cardmaking, Stamping, Quilling, and Origami.

Paper and card stock are the most widely used material for all of these crafts lending themselves to a range of techniques including bending, folding, curving, cutting, painting, creasing, glueing, embellishing and even sewing.

You can buy paper almost anywhere, making paper craft one of the most accessible of crafts. Most supermarkets and children’s toy shops have stacks of paper and craft supplies. While there is no guarantee you won’t make mistakes, if anything should go wrong, it is inexpensive to start again.

Everyone will have something available for paper crafting, save the small bows and embellishments that you find on the cards and gift wrap you receive, cut buttons and beads off old clothing before it goes in the charity bag. Now we are on the subject, check out your local charity shops for anything and everything that you could use to embellish your paper craft project.

Another craft is paper modelling. Think back to your childhood when paper planes were thrown across the classroom, this was the first paper modelling you may have done. The popularity of this has increased with the availability of numerous models on the Internet which can be downloaded and printed for little or no cost. Create a 3D model of almost anything imaginable, buildings, animals, and cars to name a few. Printed parts are cut out and edges scored to aid folding. The parts are glued together with PVA glue. With this type of modelling, the sections are usually pre-painted, no need to paint the model after completion. Some enthusiasts may enhance the model with additional detailing. The finished model can be varnished with PVA glue for a better quality finish.

One paper craft that you will have most certainly already had a go at is card making, who hasn’t made their mum a mothers day card and witnessed the pleasure in her face to receive a gift, lovingly made by hand? Knowing how much joy you can give with a homemade card, why not give it a go before buying a ready-made one. There are many books and magazines on the subject, available all over the high street, some magazines also include a kit to get you started. Billions of cards are sent and received each year, think how much cash you can save by making your own, have a go and see how well your handmade card is received.

Stamping or embossing as it is sometimes called is the process of creating a raised relief design on paper or card. This is done with two dies: one is raised and one is recessed. The dies fit into each other so that when the paper is pressed between them, the raised die forces the paper into the recessed die and creates the embossed impression.

Quilling is a craft that involves the use of strips of paper rolled, shaped and glued together to create decorative designs. The paper is rolled, looped, curled, and twisted to create shapes which make up designs to decorate greetings cards, pictures, boxes, eggs, and to make models, jewellery etc. Quilling starts with rolling a strip of paper into a coil and then pinching the coil into shapes that can be glued together. Advanced techniques and different sized paper, are used to create 3D miniatures, abstract art, flowers and portraits among many things. Quilling is easy to learn like most other crafts. With the resources available today, almost everyone can learn. There are tutorial videos online that can teach you how to start quilling. There are more exotic styles of quilling that aren’t commonly taught but can be learned through books that teach the specific style you are looking for.

Papier mache, something ideal for the children, papier-mache means “chewed paper”, “pulped paper”, or “mashed paper” and is made up of paper pulp bound with paste or glue. Another method is to use paper strips glued together with adhesive. With the first method, you can shape the pulp to the desired form. With the second method, support is needed on which to glue the paper strips. you can use lightweight forms or balloons
The traditional method of making papier-mache adhesive is to use a mixture of water and flour or other starch, mixed to the consistency of wallpaper paste or indeed just buy a pack of wallpaper paste. Adding salt to the mixture reduces the chances of the product developing mould.
For the paper strips method, the paper is cut or torn into strips, and soaked in the paste until saturated. The saturated pieces are then placed onto the surface and allowed to dry slowly. The strips may be placed on a shape, or skeleton, often of wire mesh over a structural frame, or they can be placed on an object to create a cast. The resulting material can be cut, sanded and/or painted, once dried, and waterproofed by painting with PVA. Before painting any papier-mache, the glue must be fully dried, otherwise, mould will form and the product will rot from the inside out.
For the pulp method, the paper is left in the water at least overnight to soak, or boiled in water until the paper breaks down to a pulp. The excess water is drained, an adhesive is added and the papier-mache applied to a form or, especially for smaller or simpler objects, sculpted to shape.

Try one of the paper cutting templates, here on this site as an introduction to paper craft. All the designs are originals, made just for us here at Crafty Direct, instantly available digital downloads. We have some beautiful designs and ideas, for you to create something special for a Birthday card, wedding invitations and gifts, take a look at what’s available on site now. You will also need a paper cutting knife and a cutting board. Get crafting!

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